BEND, OR -- Veterans advocates hope a weekend golf event will raise awareness and money for a suicide prevention program. Matt Bassitt helped organize the two-day Scotch Golf Tournament as a fundraiser for local vets struggling with suicidal thoughts. He tells KBND, "There are 22 suicides each day, 8,000 suicides each year by veterans dealing with PTSD. It gets talked about, people thank their veterans often and Central Oregon has a great community for helping out with our veterans. But, the issue with PTSD sometimes get swept under the rug."
Money raised during this weekend's tournament will go toward sending local veterans to Malibu to attend a PTSD and suicide prevention program offered through Save A Warrior. "They’re doing some amazing things. They have a 100% success, every person that they’ve put through this program is alive today; and they’re thriving. It’s really powerful. The Scotch is raising the funds to allocate with local veterans in Central Oregon to put them through this course and obviously save their lives, which helps their families, their communities as a whole. We really just want to do what we can to help these guys that have given so much already." Bassitt adds, "So many are really dealing with some strong and powerful things with this PTSD. So, we really just want to send through as many as we can, obviously. Raise funds, raise awareness and really give them real help because that seems to be the hardest thing to find." He says it costs $2500 per veteran, plus airfare.
kicks off Friday at Tetherow, and Bassitt expects it will become an annual event. Bassitt hopes to turn it into an annual fundraiser for Save A Warrior.
To hear more of our conversation with Matt Bassitt, visit our Podcast Page